On HGTV's Fixer Upper, we sometimes get a glimpse of Chip and Joanna Gaines's family life. We'll get a quick shot of them working on their farm, or we'll see their four kids stopping by a house they're renovating. But that's about it. In their new memoir, The Magnolia Story, out this week, the Gaineses get personal, opening up about how they met, fell in love and got married, the rocky start of their home renovation business and how their sudden fame has affected their lives. Here are seven things we learned about the couple from reading their book:
1. Joanna designed her own engagement ring.
After dating for about a year, Chip proposed to Joanna outside of a shopping center. Then, he lead her into a jewelry shop owned by a man Chip's dad knew, who told her, "You're here to design your ring." Joanna : "The fact that the selection of the ring tied back to Chip's roots and family history made it all the more special for me."
2. Joanna wanted to be a broadcast journalist.
This could explain why she's so great on camera. After graduating from Baylor University as a communications major, Joanna moved to New York City to intern with Dan Rather for CBS. When she moved back home to Waco, Texas, she was working at her dad's shop trying to decide whether or not to pursue a broadcast career in the city. But then she met Chip, and the rest is history.
3. They spent their honeymoon in New York.
After tying the knot in Waco in 2003, Joanna was eager to show her new hubby her former NYC digs. They spent a couple of nights in the fancy Drake Hotel — and it left such an impression they later named their first son Drake. After that, they took a road trip through upstate New York.
4. The first home Joanna ever designed was the one she and Chip first lived in.
Although the design aesthetic we see from Joanna on Fixer Upper today is flawless, she honed the skill working on her own homes with Chip — and yes there were many homes, because of Chip's affinity for buying and flipping houses, even their own. Joanna writes in their book:
Chip gave me free rein to make that home whatever I wanted to make it. To be honest, I didn't know what I wanted to make it, so I started with one basic idea: "I have six favorite colors, so I'm going to paint every room one of those colors." Once I got going, I decided that using different colors in every room wasn't enough for me. I wanted to make every room a different theme.
Oh, what we wouldn't give to see photos of those themed rooms.
5. Chip and Joanna don't own a television.
Yes, two of the biggest stars on TV can't even watch their own show. When they first got married, friends recommended they wait a few weeks to get a TV so they could start their marriage focused on each other. Thirteen years later, they still don't have one. In Magnolia Story, Chip explains that they'll watch big games or shows at a friend's house or at a restaurant, but Joanna adds, "I don't feel like we've missed a thing."
6. There was that one time Chip went to jail.
Early in their marriage, the Gaineses had three dogs they let roam around outside, because there wasn't much room in their small home. But when a neighbor saw the pups outside without a leash, she'd call animal control. One week after having their first child, cops came knocking on the door with a warrant for Joanna's arrest — since the dogs were registered to her. The couple went down to the courthouse to put the dogs in Chip's name, and he was promptly hauled off to the county jail. (If that's not true love, what is?!) After a few hours, Joanna bailed him out.
7. They started their very own housing subdivision in Waco.
Right before getting the call from TV producers, Chip and Joanna were knee-deep in debt trying to figure out how to finish a subdivision project in Waco called Magnolia Villas. The interiors of the modest homes were designed by Joanna herself. There's no mention of whether or not they're still involved in the development. But a house designed top-to-bottom by Chip and Joanna sounds pretty much like our dream home.
For more never-before-heard stories about the Gaineses, pick up their book at .